Release date: June 2nd 2008
Availability: CD, MP3 Download, iTunes
"Earfood" features Roy Hargrove's working band - Roy Hargrove (trumpet, flugelhorn), Justin Robinson (alto sax and flute), Gerald Clayton (piano), Danton Boller (bass) and Montez Coleman (drums).
"My goal in this project is to have a recording that is steeped in tradition and sophistication, while maintaining a sense of melodic simplicity", Roy Hargrove states; but that is only half the story.
The upbeat cuts (Hargrove originals "Strasbourg/St.Denis" and "The Stinger", Cedar Walton's 'I'm Not So Sure" and Weldon Irvine Jr's, "Mr Clean"- from Freddie Hubbard's "Straight Life") sparkle and shimmer.
The medium tempo takes (Larry Willis' "To Wisdom The Prize", and Roy Hargrove's own "Style" and "Brown") introduce subtle latin nuances.
But it is the ballads (Hargove's "Joy Is Sorrow Unmasked", "Rouge" and "Divine", the Kurt Weill-Ogden Nash standard "Speak Low" and Lou Marini's "Starmaker") that really impress. Does anyone today play ballads with such control and beauty?
The album finishes with a good time live version of Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home to Me", a fitting finale to an album of warmth, intelligence, beauty and creativity.
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